Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Abolition of Man

The Abolition of Man 
by CS Lewis

It’s an oldie, but a goodie. Everything CS Lewis writes is a classic – to me, at least. And the intellectual prowess of the author makes me feel smarter as I read. It’s not easy reading, but having finished this slight volume, I am definitely better for it.

I believe the content of this book was originally presented in a few lectures at Oxford. So basically, if you read this book, it’s just like going to Oxford with Dr. Lewis as your professor. What a thrill to sit under the tutelage of such a great theologian, thinker, and man.

In this book, Lewis coins his famous phrase: Men without Chests. He discusses the decline of education in his day and age (1940s) but the relevance of these words today is striking. Almost prophetic. His premise is that, traditional morality (as laid out by our Creator) must be taught as the sole source of all value judgements – it is not one among a series of possible systems of value. He says that “there has never been, and never will be, a radically new judgement of value in the history of the world.”

He discusses the idea that if children are not taught absolute truths, then we cannot expect them to behave with virtue and honor. We will essentially raise men without chests, who are all intellect and no heart.

Yes, it’ll make you think. Yes, you might have to read some passages twice. But you will come away from it smarter, wiser, and let’s face it, you’ll be an Oxford student for an hour or two, and wouldn’t that look great on your resume?

What is your favorite CS Lewis book? Leave us a comment for a chance to win this week’s prize!

Jennifer Fromke is a novelist who writes from NC, where she pines for colder temperatures all year long. Northerners by upbringing, she and her husband of 26 years have raised three Southern-ish children, much to their amazement. Jennifer reviews books at and you can download a free story from her website when you sign up for her newsletter at She writes contemporary women’s fiction and email. Lots of email.


  1. An excellent book. I read it many years ago. Time to read it again!

  2. I haven't read this one yet. Adding to my Wish List. "The Great Divorce" was not what I expected. It's now on my keep-close-at-hand shelf.

  3. I've never read any of his books but I am familiar with his works. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I have read The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce but my favorite is the Chronicles of Narnia.